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Pond Yacht rigging

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Im sifting the internet looking for information about pre-radio control Pond yacht rigging. Working rigging for sailing scale models.

Before radio control, as I am sure all of you know, pond yachts reached a high degree of sophistication. Self tacking steering gear controlled by wind vanes, with a lot of complex brass hardware with elastic bands and adjustable sliders, were visible on deck and could be set by the user on shore to match the prevailing wind conditions and desired point of sail.

My problem is in finding authoritative information on these mechanisms. Nearly ALL of the images I find of historic Pond Yachts, those not in actual contemporary photos, are of models that have been restored and have had their steering gear simplified, presumably by antique dealers with little working sail understanding. In most of these cases its very obvious that brass fittings remaining on deck are not rigged in a way that would have an actual effect, they have merely been mocked up to look like they function and are often left unconnected to the sails.

Have any of you R.C. guys come across books or websites that deal with this aspect f the hobby? I hope there is a repository of this knowledge somewhere, it would be a shame to lose it.







 Niagara USS Constitution 


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I wrote to the Central Park Yacht Club and they put me in touch with a gentleman with experience with the subject. I was touched by his generosity when he wrote back and sent along annotations on the photo I had sent him.

He explains that:


......... sheet-to-tiller rig:  there were *two* mainsheets, one used on  going to windward  and the other on the run. Both typically had hooks on the end so they could be switched.

Sailing upwind, the boat sailed on balance only, tiller centered by the elastic as shown in the picture. The beating sheet ran from the end of the boom and was hooked on the ring on the main horse. Running sheet hung loose.

On the run, the running sheet would be hooked to the tiller as shown, and run out so the main boom was swung out to one side or the other. The beating sheet would hang loose. The principle is that if the boom were swung to starboard, the boat would tend to turn to port. The pressure of the wind would pull on the main sheet against the elastic and give opposite helm to the rudder , thus guiding the boat.

The jib would have a single sheet, adjusted with a tensioning device,  let out for the run and pulled in for the beat.






 Niagara USS Constitution 


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Try this web site from the UK: www.vmyg.uk. Its called the Vintage Model YachtGroup, its web site has a link to a

instruction book for various self steering mechanisms and how they work. 

Looked interesting.

Bridgman Bob

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Thanks for the link to the website! I thought I had seen them all by now but this was a new one to me. Here are some shots of the model I am restoring, one of two. THis example was likely not actually sailed. It has a lead keel but there is no rudder head, the rudder moves but does not pierce the deck.

The second model, not pictured, has rudimentary self steering gear and I will put up some photos of that later as I finish work on her.




Edited by JerseyCity Frankie




 Niagara USS Constitution 


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However, did you notice that shipping at Blue Jacket starts at $50.00?



Huh?   http://www.bluejacketinc.com/ordering.htm

"The shipwright is slow, but the wood is patient." - me

Current Build:                                                                                             
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